Great Lessons in Small Packages—Tree Books for Kids

August 30, 2016

Great things do come in small packages! In the case of this blog post, the small packages are children’s books that bring to life the themes of growth and nature. GPO makes available two colorfully-illustrated, nature-based publications from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that are ideal for parents and educators, too!

The Little Acorn

001-001-00687-4We usually think of acorns as the staple snack of squirrels. And that they are. In the case of this delightful storybook from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, an acorn can also represent the magic of growing up.

The Little Acorn is written from the perspective of a foraging squirrel who buries an acorn near a stream. As it occasionally checks back on the oak nut, the squirrel bears witness to the tree’s growth amid seasonal and ecological changes. Spring rains, summer heat, and autumn winds condition the baby oak. Its thirsty roots stretch out and it learns that all living things need water to grow.

What starts as a tiny seed encased in a tough shell eventually transforms into a “big, beautiful oak tree…dropping little acorns of its own.”

Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?

001-000-04759-1Sometimes it is necessary to cut trees. Trees have lifecycles—they sprout, mature, grow old, die—and their seeds can be planted to grow new trees. For a renewable resource like trees to healthily propagate, diseased or hazardous trees must be cut down and removed. What sounds like severe measures is actually a good thing for the environment.

This U.S. Forest Service publication teaches kids that “people need to cut some trees down, but that is not the end of the story.” It explores various uses for wood from cut trees—such as materials for construction, nutrients for fresh soil, and stumps for new shoots. The book also includes a note to adults about the basics of tree care.

Cutting down a tree is a form of caring for that tree. It makes room for more life in the exchange of another. Eighteenth century botanist Carl Linnaeus said it best when he wrote “if a tree dies, plant another in its place.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Teaching our Children about Making Healthy Food Choices

August 15, 2016

Maintaining good health and nutrition has become a major issue for many families in the United States. Today, many Americans are lacking in physical activity and proper nutrition, either because of their sedentary lifestyles, or because they are “too busy.” As a result of this, the frequency of making healthy food choices has diminished.

Discover MyPlate: Emergent Readers - A MyPlate MealTherefore, it is important that children learn early on about the importance of nutrition, fitness and the well-being of their bodies. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has created Discover MyPlate: A MyPlate Meal, an eBook that serves as a meal and fitness guide for children. It includes fun interactive games about nutrition, to help introduce the development of healthy food choices and physical activity lifestyles to young readers.  The child-friendly material and age appropriate games and activities will help children learn healthy habits effortlessly.

The USDA has also created a Teacher’s Kit curriculum to assist educators in the teaching of nutrition and fitness to their students. There are a number of books featured in the kit, including in the Discover MyPlate series, to teach children the importance of every food group and its relevance to one’s health. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has done an exceptional job in their efforts of creating a child-friendly approach to nutrition and fitness.

Owning this eBook is easy, you can download it for free on the U.S. Government Bookstore website. Summer is here and the Discover MyPlate: A MyPlate Meal series are perfect reads for you and your children to become educated on the importance of nutrition and fitness.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS FREE RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Alyssa Doughty is an intern in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


This 100-Year-Old National Park is Still Going Strong

July 29, 2016

There’s a national park on the Hawaiian island of Maui where the warm sun bakes a volcanic basin and balmy breezes float through a bamboo forest. The place is called Haleakalā National Park. And on August 1, 2016, it marks its 100th birthday.

CraterHaleakalā is pronounced ha-leh-ah-kah-lah. It means “house of the sun” in Native Hawaiian. When American writer Mark Twain first came to Haleakalā in 1866, he described it as “the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed, and I think the memory of it will remain with me always.” The National Park Service (NPS) wants kids to have a similar experience. Its Haleakala Junior Ranger Activity Booklet, available through GPO, is prefect way to celebrate the centennials of both Haleakalā and NPS.

024-005-01319-9Haleakala Junior Ranger Activity Booklet

The park has two separate sections—a 10,023 ft. shield volcano flanking the east side stands in stark contrast to the azure Kipahulu coast. A vast subalpine moonscape plummets into a subtropical rainforest that rings a craggy, palm-lined shore. Over 80% of the park is wilderness. A sacred place in the lore of Native Hawaiians, Haleakalā “protects the last or only home to plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.” In fact, it hosts more endangered species than any other national park in the U.S.

Haleakala Booklet pg 6

Click on image to enlarge.

Haleakalā’s “stories, sights, and traditions” are well captured in the activity booklet. There’s plenty to give your junior ranger (or yourself!) a hands-on experience with earth science, biodiversity, and Hawaiian culture. Entertaining games—on such topics as the volcano lifecycle, lava rocks, hiking trails, Nēnē geese, habitats, and the Hawaiian alphabet—are a great way for young explorers to learn about a piece of America’s natural heritage.

Snag your copy of the Haleakala Junior Ranger Activity Booklet and plan your family visit to the unique wilds of the “house of the sun.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Fish, not trash, should swim!

June 8, 2016

June 8th is World Oceans Day, an annual celebration to honor and conserve a healthy world ocean. Oceans make the planet blue. Oceans interconnect with everything. Oceans belong to everyone. Yet, careless actions of individuals affect ocean life. Humans discard plastic bottles, electronics, metal cans, and food wrappers. When this trash makes its way into marine environments, it’s termed marine debris.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) asserts that “wildlife entanglement and ingestion, economic costs, and habitat damage are some impacts of marine debris.” To counter this worrying trend, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program developed Understanding Marine Debris: Games & Activities for Kids of All Ages, Marine Debris 101, a games and activities booklet, to help kids take action against marine debris.

003-017-00558-5Understanding Marine Debris: Games & Activities for Kids of All Ages

This “marine debris 101” booklet pulls together an assortment of 20 puzzles, brain-teasers, and coloring activities suitable to help children of all ages understand hazardous disposal in marine environments. Sample exercises include

  • Picture Crossword—Types of Marine Debris;
  • Marine Debris Matchup—How Long Will It Take? (decomposition times for items such as a plastic bottle, fishing line, Styrofoam cup, and banana peel);
  • Connect the Dots—A Sea Turtle’s Story;
  • A Silly Story—Cleaning Up the Beach;
  • Marine Debris Maze—Getting to the Trash Can.
Understanding Marine Debris P12

Click on image to enlarge

The most sobering page (but still fun—promise!) is the marine match-up memory game. It shows what happens to marine animals when they encounter litter. A dolphin can get tangled in fishing gear. A sea turtle can choke on a plastic bag. A sea lion can become entangled in discarded ropes and nets. It won’t be hard for kids to realize that cute animals and their underwater habitat are toxified by everyday garbage.

Understanding Marine Debris P10

Click on image to enlarge

Although this activity booklet targets kids, it delivers a ton of reminders for adults, too. Think twice before littering. Get involved in community-based clean-ups. If individual actions contribute to dangerous marine debris accumulation, then it will take individual actions to undo it. Because the world ocean is not a dumping ground.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


A Way for Kids to Celebrate the National Park Centennial

June 6, 2016

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service (NPS). The agency was entrusted with a mission to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

024-005-01321-1This year, the National Park Service launches a second century of environmental stewardship and historic preservation. As NPS looks to its next 100, it invites everyone, especially kids, to experience one of over 400 national parks and monuments.

Children can join the national parks birthday celebration with the Centennial Junior Ranger activity booklet. It’s an activity-filled, adventure-based guide to explore, learn, and have fun in natural places. I’ll let some of the pages from this colorful, informative guide do the talking…click on each image to enlarge.

024-005-01321-1_p6-7

024-005-01321-1_p10-11

024-005-01321-1_p14-15

This booklet comes with a bonus! Upon completing select activities, kids can bring the booklet to any national park visitor center to receive an official Junior Ranger badge.

As part of NPS’ Every Kid in a Park program, admission to all national parks is free for the entire year for fourth graders and their families. And with several fee-free days scheduled throughout 2016, it’s possible to get every kid and every family in a park. The more that people care about America’s special outdoor wonderlands, the more likely they will be around in 2116.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


This National Park Week, Be a Junior Ranger!

April 14, 2016

April 16-24 is National Park week and 2016 is the National Park Service’s (NPS) centennial year. National parks symbolize America’s spirit of discovery. Although protected today, parks need stewardship for tomorrow. The NPS activity-based Junior Ranger program aims to turn young visitors into lifelong enthusiasts. GPO makes available several park-specific booklets to help 5- to 12-year-olds explore “America’s best idea.”

The White House Junior Ranger Activity Guide

Home. Workplace. Museum. And National Park! The White House, home to every president and first family since 1800, is the only building in the world that fits all those categories. Since 1933, The White House has operated under the National Park System. That piece of presidential acreage sees millions of visitors each year. Now there’s a new fact-filled White House guide that appeals to both kids and adults.

9780160929892This booklet drops some great presidential trivia. Abigail Adams used the East Room to hang laundry. Dolly Madison saved a famous painting of George Washington from the War of 1812 fire. Edith Wilson was the first to showcase custom patterned china. All White House occupants leave a visible impression but first ladies drive the story of expansion, design, and entertainment. Beyond aesthetics, the booklet points out that first ladies were “champions for change.” President Harry Truman understood this well. He often introduced First Lady Elizabeth Truman as “the Boss.”

The booklet includes several pages of post-tour activities, including a President’s Park walking map, first family puzzle, and the ABC’s of architecture. Tip for parents: kids can present their booklet to a White House Visitor Center to be sworn in as a badged and certified Junior Ranger!

Redwood National and State Parks Junior Ranger Activity Booklet

Redwood Trees looking up Source: www.nps.gov

Redwood Trees looking up: http://www.nps.gov

Redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth. Living fossil records. But decades of commercial logging nearly decimated old-growth redwood forests of the North Coast region. In this booklet, Ranger Jim points out that “about 95% of the original coast redwood forest was cut down.” Although that statistic is dismaying, take heart. NPS is the capable caretaker of those special giants.

024-005-01316-4The booklet has dozens of activities families can complete while exploring redwood areas. Play tide pool bingo, be a tree detective, and fish for the right color. Write your observations in the ranger beach report. Solve the octopus tree mystery. Keep track of badge points. The fun and fascination are as endless as the redwoods are tall.

Next time you visit a national park, take a fact-filled activity booklet along!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


A Strategy to Protect Our Children

April 7, 2016

“Every day, four to eight children in the United States die from abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents or caretakers. No one knows the exact number, and there has been little progress in preventing these tragic deaths. Most of the children who die are infants or toddlers.”

—from “Within Our Reach A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities”

In 2013, Congress took notice of those concerning stats like ones above. It passed the Protect Our Kids Act and assembled the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF). Over a two-year period, a team of a dozen commissioners put their public and private sector expertise to task. Their nationwide review of practices and programs revealed that no state has a “sufficiently comprehensive plan to eliminate” child abuse and maltreatment fatalities. So, the commission used what it learned to judiciously recommend a foresighted national strategy.

In time for National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, GPO makes available the commission’s final report in both digital and print formats.

In “Within Our Reach A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities,” Chairman David Sanders writes, “If we as a nation do nothing different to prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities, somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 U.S. children will die from maltreatment.” He calls for a proactive, not reactive, approach to eliminate child abuse and neglect fatalities. That’s exactly what this policy guidance document aims to do—fundamentally reform old practices and make prevention standard practice.

Several of the chapters dig into the complex conditions that make children vulnerable, especially in disproportionately affected minority communities. Until quality services are made equitably available, opportunities to decrease child fatalities will be missed. Another focus is the “disparity between federal legislation on child safety and the impact at the local level.” Proposed solutions include more multi-disciplinary, real-time data sharing and accountable leadership. Notably, the commission recommends the Children’s Bureau be elevated as a direct report to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

9780160932243a

Image excerpt from CECANF Report.

The commission acknowledges that without a way forward, its final report is dead on arrival. So, it recommends that the U.S. government critically review child maltreatment deaths going back five years. The report concludes that “an immediate safety analysis of children who died in the past…will create a national learning community to better protect children and prevent fatalities” in the future.

The commission’s strategy lays out a lot of reasonable action steps. Grounded in practicable research, it’s an earnest effort to produce evidence-based results. Results “within our reach” that will manifestly save children’s lives.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS REPORT?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


%d bloggers like this: